Soldier killed while saving lives in tragic Bronx house fire honored with medals

THE BRONX — Private First Class Emmanuel Mensah, who lost his life while trying to rescue others in a horrific house fire in the Bronx late last year, was honored with the Soldier’s Medal and the New York State Medal For Valor Friday.

Friends and family of the fallen soldier were on hand at Fordham University’s Keating Hall to accept the posthumous medals in an emotional ceremony.

The Mensah family accepted the Soldiers Medal, the Army's top award for valor outside of combat, and the New York State Medal for Valor, the state's highest military award.

The fatal Dec. 28 house fire broke out in a 5-story building in the Belmont section of the Bronx. It took the lives of 12 people while leaving six injured and is considered the deadliest house fire in New York in over 25 years.

Pfc. Mensah is credited with saving four lives as he ran in and out the burning building as many as three times.